Tension and disruption, amidst a harvest!
We sensed a tension in the air as the Warden, Deputy Warden, Chaplain, and six guards lined the walls of the gymnasium, standing military style for the concert at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility. In all our years of doing prison concerts we’d never had this much security. Approximately 200 men entered and took their places in the gym. There was no conversation, no smiles, and no fellowship as we normally would see in the prison church. On each end of the bleachers men sat in circles, facing each other with their backs to us. As the Chaplain introduced us they began talking loudly and laughing, showing no respect or concern at how disruptive they were. As the first song began, one by one, and two by two, men started to leave. This went on throughout the whole concert.
Wayburn’s focus remained on each word and he continued to lift up the name of Jesus as he sang and spoke. After about five songs I then got up and shared with them that God is the one and only God. He’s our rock, our salvation, our comfort, our strength, our light, our hope, and our glory. He is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and one glorious day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Men continued to walk out, until there were about 100 men left, men looking bewildered, and broken. It saddened our hearts to see that the prison church was so discouraged by those who are part of a false religious group seeking to disrupt the worship of those who follow Christ. Men purposely walked out to protest the name of Christ being proclaimed. How sad to see souls walking away from a God who gave his only Son for them. Nonetheless, as the invitation was given, to God be the glory–several men received Christ!
After the concert the Chaplain verified that the demonstration was done to show their anger that so much focus in the prison was on “Christian” programming. Those groups of protesters want equal time for their rituals and ceremonies. Satan is at work in the hearts of men everywhere. He wants to discourage us in every way from sharing the gospel, but we will carry on in the name of Christ. I Peter 4:16 says “if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” So we rejoice alongside these men who took the Name of Jesus at this concert. Please continue to keep our ministry in your prayers. Thank you!